Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You should be concerned by now if you spend any time keeping up with the news. Nothing is good, promising, or even hopeful lately. We are being told that our world is poised to go into a nuclear war. Our country has no borders. Along with millions of people coming to the US, there are now terrorists and tons of drugs pouring in with them. Inflation is moving everyday products like gas and food beyond the reach of many people. The supply chain crisis has impacted our ability to even feed our babies. Then again, half our country doesn’t want any babies. COVID is still here, we are now on our third booster. Are you ready for number four? And yes, there is now Monkey Pox. And this is just the first page of our news. No wonder the number one health issue in the world is mental illness! As Christians, we all know the standard lines, God is in charge, just hang in there, and in the end, justice will prevail. But isn’t there something that we all should be doing in the meantime? Isn’t there a way everyone who believes in God should be responding to the chaos?

If you search the Internet, you will find lots of ideas for everyone to practice. The belief is that there are basic responsibilities each of us has to help each other survive times like we are in. 1 Let’s look at a few good ideas and set some goals that will help get through this.

Seek God, not sin

(Amos 5:4) 2 – “This is what the Lord says to Israel: ‘Seek me and live;’”

God is where you find life. (See Lostpine’s Study: When did you first exist? ) You will not find a source for creating life anywhere else but in God. One quickly concludes that the human being has been created to pursue God. We have no other earthly purpose. However, sin, our flawed human nature, separates us from our Creator. The evidence surrounds us in this world of God’s existence. It will never be found inside the “Metaverse.” When the people living in Amos’s time suffered famine and other hardships, they never really got Amos’s point. “Seek Me and live” is God’s call to us. Want life, seek God not sin!

Do not fear the people of this world, fear God

(Proverbs 19:23) – “The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.”

Be in awe of the power God holds. Life and death are in His hands. God offers us a home with Him forever. There is no earthly kingdom that can match God’s offer. Fear God’s commandments and give Him respect. Know that His Son is the Door to Eternity. For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death. This is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5; Hebrews 10:31). For the believer, the fear of God is something much different. “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ’God is a consuming fire.’” (Hebrews 12:28-29) Once we have surrendered our lives to the Creator of the Universe, what more is there to fear?

Love God, not the world

(1 John 2:15-17) – “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

Who or what do you love? Power, money, possessions, family, position. Each is temporal in the world. God has offered to share His kingdom with us, all He has, His love, His Power, His eternity. Go for the gusto, go for the best. Loving God requires knowing Him, and that knowledge begins with His Word. To love God is to worship and praise Him. “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only” (Luke 4:8).

To love God is to put Him first. The number-one commandment is to love God “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). It’s an undivided love. God becomes our number one priority. If we love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength, then we won’t allow other things to ever crowd God out of our lives.

Don’t fall for Satan’s lies

(John 8:44) – “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Even as Christians, sometimes the truth is elusive. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you have an enemy. When life and Scripture collide, which one do you believe and trust? Satan wants us to believe the lies, but will you seek God’s Truth? The world will destroy you while God’s Word will save you! Notice that seek is a verb, an action verb. It takes work to know the Truth! God’s revealed Truth is something we discover, not invent. God reveals it to us through His Word. Truth is rooted in the eternal, all-powerful, and unchangeable God. Therefore His promises cannot fail: “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (Proverbs 30:5).

Be a servant

(Isaiah 6:8) – “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’”

God’s call is not a call to be a pushover in today’s world. As Bible-believing Christians, we are to live at peace with our neighbors. Where and when possible, our lives are to draw unbelievers to God (Psalms 119:98). However, God and His Son, Jesus, never compromised their values. Jesus was crucified for those values. We are to live as a light in the darkness of our world. There are times, however, when peace is not possible and retreating from the field of battle that is put before you is not an option. God does not ask you to be a coward but, instead, to rely on Him for your strength (Psalms 149:6-7).

The job is not done until we pass God on to the next generation

(Psalm 71:17-18) – “Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.”

How did you learn there was a God? Each generation must be taught who God is, and what He has done for humankind. Children have always learned from their parents’ religious experiences. As a family prays together, they too will pray with you. When you are no longer there to be a direct influence on your children, their desire to seek God needs to remain. Our world attacks the family. Rightly so, because it is through the strength of the family that faith and God are transferred from one generation to the next. No books, no movies, no social media is more powerful than a family who shares their faith publicly and with each other. Do not abandon our children to the world.

Setting Goals in Today’s Crazy World

If you like the idea of setting goals, then it may be time to write out a list of things yet to achieve. It is always a good idea to talk about them as a family. Goals should be revisited periodically for adjustments. To achieve any goal, here are a few secular tips:

  1. Mission statements are the highest-level goal for living. You should know your mission in life. It is a nice idea to find a single Bible verse that matches your mission. Make it part of how you live your life. Live the verse. Tell everyone about it. Study it. Make it YOUR VERSE!
  2. Goals are those areas that you would like to accomplish in life. Think of it as a “bucket list” of sorts. Don’t take the time to create a huge list. Good goals are usually a short and simple. Pick goals that will take you and your family closer to God.
  3. Look at each goal. Now develop strategies to address success toward that goal. One goal might be to teach your children about God, the Bible, and then have them seek God by their own declaration of faith and baptism. It might take years, but this is a goal that is worthy of effort. A strategy would include going to church and worshiping regularly. Scriptures are full of strategies. Pick those that speak to your heart. The Holy Spirit is there to help!
  4. Now, look at all your strategies that cover all your goals. Wow, you have work ahead of you. 
  5. To accomplish a strategy, you need tactics. These are the day-to-day operational activities that move you in the right direction. Tactics might include youth groups for your children, mission work as a family, Bible studies, regular worship, and time reading Scripture together. This is the fun part of God’s world; He loves helping families achieve their goals. 
  6. Here comes the critical part necessary for success. Be honest with yourself and do a “strengths and weakness” assessment. Some things you will be good at and some lousy. Now build your plan. What is a plan? A plan is to arrange your life to choose tactics that leverage your strengths and fix your weaknesses. Then march forward toward your goals and live your mission. Every business in the world does it this way. Jesus did it this way with His three years of ministry. The apostles were just one strategy that he considered and used effectively. His mission was to carry the sins of humankind upon His back to the Cross! Hallelujah!

It doesn’t seem that the world is getting much better. Let’s hope it is not getting worse. To survive, however, we need to get closer to God. Whoever we are and whatever our situation, God wants us to put Him first, even before family and friends. As Paul put it, Jesus is “the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” (Colossians 1:18) Jesus accepts no rival substitutions for our affections and attention!

Contemplations

  • Where does the “noise” in your life come from?
    • Ideas to Explore: Family, friends, news, work, other challenges? 
  • What do you do to control the noise? How do you find time to plan for positive change in your life?
    • Ideas to Explore: Quiet time, reading God’s Word, time with loved ones, spending time outdoors, hobbies, etc.
  • Society seems to be surviving “ad hoc” without a plan. Where do you see the need for strategies and tactics the most in your world today?
    • Ideas to Explore: Do we have too many conflicting messages that drown out the good ideas? Is life just too busy? Do we need to spend more time actually developing ideas for living well?
  • How would you prepare children for the time ahead when you are no longer able to guide and influence them?
    • Ideas to Explore: Spend time with them now. Write down your beliefs. Teach them your faith. Involve them in your life’s struggles and show them how to “Survive.”
  • What do you think the next generation’s survival skills must look like?
    • Ideas to Explore: Can youth survive without a belief in God? Is prayer, time with God alone necessary for a healthy mind and body? 

Notes:

  1. Concepts reflect information from https://www.cru.org/us/en/communities/families/7-essentials-for-christian-life.html
  2. NIV New International Version Translations
Share